The Phoenix World Bazaar returned for the holiday season on December 2nd, 2017! Attendees celebrated the vibrant culture of Phoenix with vendors from around the world providing specialty cuisines, crafts, and entertainment.
The World Bazaar is a bi-annual event hosted by the International Rescue Committee in Phoenix, Local First Arizona, and the City of Phoenix. The first Bazaar launched in May 2016, making this the 4th Bazaar to date. The Bazaar has steadily grown, increasing the number of vendors and the number of attendees at each successive event.
"The World Bazaar began as a market intended to highlight immigrant and refugee businesses in Phoenix, and has evolved into a vibrant celebration of diversity and inclusion. With nearly 50 vendors from more than 18 different countries present, this event creates a special opportunity for members of the community from a variety of cultural backgrounds to learn, share, and grow together," said Danielle Luna, Microenterprise Coordinator for the IRC in Phoenix.
Attendees sampled food from around the world, including Senegalese coffee, boba milk tea, Puerto Rican sandwiches, Middle Eastern kebabs, and Syrian Sweets desserts. A number of goods and crafts were available to purchase, including henna designs, African clothing, Middle Eastern art, traditional Guatemalan shoes, and jewelry.
Throughout the day, a number of performances entertained attendees, including the vocalist duo Nick and Six and the Mariachi Luna de Mexico. Don Brighter and the United Star Band captivated the audience with an eclectic blend of world music and vibrant dance energy. Perhaps the most unique performance was by the Komezakaranga Drummers, a traditional Burundian drumming group. The Drummers performed a thunderous mix of ritual dance and music that awed the crowd.
Multiple elected officials visited the event, including Congressman Ruben Gallego and Phoenix City Councilwoman Laura Pastor.
The World Bazaar, and refugee and immigrant businesses, have been key to the redevelopment of the Camelback Corridor. The IRC, in partnership with LISC Phoenix, has worked to make the Corridor a better neighborhood for all residents, including refugees. Isaac Jensen, IRC Economic Development Coordinator, emphasized the importance of World Bazaar to the neighborhood: "The World Bazaar highlights the diversity of this community and promotes support for immigrant and refugee owned businesses. This is important to the Camelback Corridor redevelopment because it brings local entrepreneurs, many of whom have businesses near Camelback and 19th Avenue, together and encourages their success."
Please join us for the next World Bazaar on April 28th, 2018! The Bazaar will return to the same location, with more food, more crafts, and more entertainment than ever! Save the date and keep an eye out for more details!
This event is made possible through generous support from LISC Phoenix, Mountain Park Health Center, Dunlap & Magee, and Vitalyst Health Foundation AZ.
Story by Stanford Prescott, Community Engagement Coordinator.